Measuring your PR Success

Posted on August 4, 2015

Madison Olyniuk, Account Executive


Metrics. Return on Investment. Bottom Line. These are the statements that clients really care about.

Without these, how can you demonstrate how a PR campaign helped to heighten brand awareness?

The problem comes when they ask for one tool that is used across the entire industry. Now comes a list of advertising values, number of media mentions , readership, social traction and the list goes on. With such a wide range of options, it makes sense that PR practitioners are having a hard time guaranteeing perfect and measurable ROI numbers.

In the past it was common practice to use advertising value equivalency (AVE), which includes applying a published advertising rate by a multiplier in order to assign a dollar value to an article. It provides a nice, easy to understand numerical product that is easy to digest by just about anyone. However, this formula has been used primarily to measure tradition media coverage (print, TV, radio), and with the increase in online reporting and social media engagement, this simple equation is no longer relevant in today’s media landscape.

Since the use of AVE is on the decline, practitioners keep having to ask – how can I show my clients measurable results? And while there is no consistent measurement, it becomes vital to understand the unique needs of each client.

As storytellers, we need to be able to communicate what the outcomes of the project were in a way that makes sense to our clients. Whether it be through charts, numbers, spreadsheets, etc. it’s important to ensure your client understands the return they receive.

Some tools that we use at Brookline:

  • Measuring social media traction and engagement – likes, re-tweets, conversations
  • Measuring the overall exposure – a combination of viewership, hits, etc.
  • Delivery and exposure of key messages
  • Prevalence of an article online, in print or on TV and radio

Until that perfect formula comes along, it’s important you communicate clearly with your clients and provide a solution that fits their needs.

Madison Headshot

Madison is an Account Executive at Brookline. She brings experience in the areas of media and social media relations, event management and internal communications.